Shane Charles (b. 1983, Maine, USA) has received significant support through commissions, collections, or solo exhibitions by museums and contemporary art institutions, including NARS Foundation, NYC (solo, 2022); Space Gallery, Portland, ME, with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation (solo, 2022) and Re-Site public art (2020); the Goethe-Institut Boston (solo, 2021); the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (2020); the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (2019); Wassaic Project (2019); I-Park Foundation (2019); the School of Visual Arts, NYC (2018); the Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA&D (solo, 2015); the Ackland Art Museum and a commission for the permanent collection at the UNC Alumni Sculpture Garden (2015); among others. He recently has been awarded the inaugural 2022 CMCA Artist Residency in collaboration with the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation, as well as acceptance into the 2023 CMCA Biennial (Rockland, ME). Charles received his Master of Fine Arts degree from UNC at Chapel Hill, where he focused on sculpture and performance. Previously he studied painting at the University of Maine through the indigenous Wabanaki program.

Charles creates paintings, sculptures and photographs within a process of abstraction and poetics. Petroglyphs, mythology and natural cycles all inform his work. Charles utilizes raw- sourced material, body prints and open compositional spaces to engage with themes of artifact, presence and continuity. Charles is a direct descendent of the Penobscot Nation and is also of (colonial) British ancestry. His grandfather was a mapmaker and his father was the Penobscot tribal surveyor after the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980. From this lineage, Charles’ narrative, which includes generational fracture and psychogeography, is one of place and remembrance. His making is a meditation on iconography and assemblage, while dichotomies play out of the intimate and monumental; the architectural and performative. Charles’ recent works deal with memory, generational loss and renewal. His ongoing series, Native Soil (2015-present), commemorates his father’s work as the Penobscot surveyor after the 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act. Hand-stitched hemp with soil from these lands, mixed with ash and paint, take the form of mapped terrain. In memory of his father, who passed on Memorial Day 2020, Smith has recomposed a work from this series. Incorporating pieces commissioned from Maine-based craftsmen to create the work for this exhibition, which also features “Brothers: Masks I and Mask II,” reminiscent of death masks; these cast bronze works are both based on a face-impression by the artist, and, further, the conversation of passing. These works are joined by two color photographs taken by Charles and his then 4-year-old daughter, a record of the rare Blue Hunter’s Moon present in the sky Halloween night 2020–as it is every 19-years in Metonic cycle. When the Blue Hunter’s Moon occurs again, Charles’ daughter will be 23 years old. This exhibition of works represents Charles’ ongoing meditation on the “body in the landscape,” as well as on responsibility and representation within the personal history of Charles’ heritage.